Psychologists provide focused psychological strategies known as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy that are time-limited and aimed at symptom resolution for psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and postpartum depression. With a referral and Mental Health Care Plan from your GP, a rebate of $84.80 for up to 10 sessions a calendar year is available. Clarissa has additional training in psychotherapy for those who are not suffering a diagnosed disorder but would still like to work on their emotional wellness.
Personal Growth Psychotherapy
Psychodynamic therapy and Gestalt therapy, work with issues that originate in deeper layers of the personality or ego. It is the known path to making the unconscious, conscious enhancing self awareness for personal growth and ultimately in expressing your true potential.
Psychotherapy can help you to deal with long term emotional problems, dysfunctional relationship patterns, inner conflicts that can lead to anxiety and depression, and trauma from childhood or the recent past.
Question: Does psychotherapy mean I have to lie down and say mean things about my parents? This is a common misperception of psychotherapy based on a Freudian or television image. The answer is neither. We now realise that psychotherapy has more to do with you feeling comfortable with the therapist, being able to see that they care about what you are going through, and feeling that they can empathise. This definitely means seeing your therapist is important. Gestalt Therapy is aimed at what is troubling you in the present, which may or may not be related to anything in your past. So while your childhood may be of interest, it is primarily any connection between what is happening now and then that is more important.
Read more about the difference between a Psychologist, counsellor, therapist and psychiatrist here.
Transpersonal or Spiritual Psychology
“Transpersonal” literally means beyond the personal, beyond the ego, to include higher or soul consciousness. Mind, spirituality and higher states of consciousness are considered important aspects of self actualisation and reaching potential as a well rounded human.
Transpersonal psychology is about increasing individual awareness of mind, body, soul and spirit with a view to transforming the way we interact with ourselves and others for greater harmony/wellbeing and a sense of connection and compassion.
Transpersonal Psychology recognises the importance of our individual personalities, but it also includes mystical and transcendent realms of experience which extend outside the limitations of intellectual (scientific) understanding & material existence." Adapted from information written by Dr. D. Golding, Convener for the Transpersonal Psychology Interest Group of the APS (September 2003).
Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, peak experiences, mystical experiences, spiritual crises, spiritual evolution, NDE's or Near Death Experiences, Altered states of consciousness, spiritual practices, and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living. Clarissa does not adhere to any particular religion or theosophy but does accept the philosophical tenets of many eastern and ancient wisdom traditions. This includes the belief that we have aspects of self that exist beyond the material realm and that we may have a soul that exists beyond death. Clarissa is able to integrate your personal or religious beliefs around soul/spiritual life into the overall fabric of therapy and believes this can both enhance a sense of meaning and placate the basic existential anxiety that often pervades life.
Suggested Reading: Spiritual Emergency: Stanislav Grof Becoming Supernatural: Joe Dispenza The Power of Now: Eckhart Tolle
“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”(Eckhart Tolle)
Gestalt is an emotionally focused existential therapy that aims to promote awareness, increase response-ability (our ability to respond spontaneously and appropriately to the environment or to our inner needs) and maturation.
An original therapy born in the 1950's as a solution to the restrictions of psychoanalytic therapy, Gestalt has contributed to the formation of many current therapies including Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and voice dialogue therapy. Gestalt made famous the use of two-chair work to externalise inner conflicts.
Gestalt therapy encourages personal growth, leading to a more fulfilling life and satisfying relationships. It is useful for addressing immediate crises and long-term chronic issues.
With Gestalt we seek to reinstate wholeness to the person by helping them become fully integrated. People are not seen as sick or dysfunctional but as having adapted functional ways of dealing with situations that served them well in the original contexts in which those situations occurred. The problem is that now the person is stuck in behaving that way. The personality becomes split and part of the person is frustrated, conflicted or rigidly repeating what they know is not good for them. This ties up energy that would otherwise be directed toward growth and creates a situation that can lead to depression, anxiety and many other psychological issues.
Gestalt is also great for looking at how you defend against being your authentic self, as well as for working with internal splits (which often underlie and fuel anxiety) and looking at unexpressed parts of your self (including your shadow self, which can take on a life of its own and work against your best intentions, often sabotaging your relationships).
Gestalt also addresses the many defence mechanisms all humans use to reject unwanted aspects of self and others, the anxiety that results from splits in the personality and the depression that comes from rejecting parts of our self and suppressing emotions. Unresolved issues from the past are recognized as unfinished issues that yearn for resolution in the present and often create the repeating patterns of our current problems.
Gestalt is the ideal relationship therapy, utilising the therapeutic relationship to identify issues that occur in a person's other day-to-day relationships. Gestalt therapy aims to turn power relationships into loving relationships and enable an individual to find a sense of wholeness and authenticity.
Gestalt offers the deepest understanding of the thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and spiritual longing for meaning and connection to the essential self and for knowledge of what it means to be human. Gestalt develops therapists who have authenticity and know from the inside out what it means to go through emotional growth and come out the other side a fuller person.
Gestalt Therapy is not Fritz Perls (for those who have seen those dreadful YouTube videos). It is simply the most comprehensive system of personal growth and development that has yet to be replicated in post-modern therapies.
"Enlightenment is not a transcendental state but the process of lightening the density of the personal ego." (Adyashanti)
Trauma Therapy - Brainspotting, similar to EMDR - read more
Biochemical disorders and imbalances that affect your mood - read more